Automation has two sides…the good and the overused. I’ve never thought too much about it until I started using some different tools myself. I’m all for using automation…. in moderation. It has become an essential tool for many businesses to help keep up with the digital marketing demands, and keep in touch with our prospects and clients.
The problem I have is when automation is overused and lacks the personal touch and feel of a human being. I’m still of the belief that nothing can replace a human, no matter where technology takes us. Below are a few areas that you can take steps starting today, to help personalize your automatic responses.
Email automation is a great tool, when it’s not meant to be personal. Sending an automated “thank you for joining” when someone signs up for your newsletter lets them know their request was received. How can you personalize that automated response? I go back at the end of each day or the next morning and send a personal email back to each person thanking them for signing up, and I include something that I feel is of use to most people. Right now I’m sending a social media calendar template that can be tailored to anyone’s campaign.
What actually sparked me to write this were the automated direct messages I was receiving on Twitter. When I started getting a regular stream of connections, I couldn’t keep up with the direct messages that were coming in. I enjoy going through my new contacts at the end of the day to see who is following me. When I sat down and took the time to sift through my messages, I found they were all automated. There wasn’t one message sent to me that was personal in any way. This is a good way for a possible good message to get lost in the shuffle. Based on my experience, if I’m trying to get someone’s attention on twitter I will @mention them in a tweet. I always read through my notifications before I look at my endless list of generic messages.
Hootsuite is a great platform to use when you need to schedule your campaign days or weeks in advance, and when you’re utilizing different channels. But what you post on Twitter & Facebook might not be right for LinkedIn. Taking the time to post the right content on the right channels is something that you need to spend a little time sorting through.
Using automation in conjunction with some personal interaction can help you strike a nice balance with your audience. You can’t be on top of every new connection or subscriber right when it happens, and as we know our society today wants an immediate action or response locked and loaded. But showing that you took the time to really look at that person or their business and personalize your end-message or connection request adds the human element that has been lost in the electronic shuffle. In the end people want to know that they matter, isn’t that what’s important to you?